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a Name Sage post by: Abby View all Name Sage posts
NameSage Peter Pan

Welcome to Nameberry’s newest column, The Name Sage. Every week, I’ll answer one reader’s questions about naming a baby-on-the-way, or general baby name angst. And here’s the best part: we’d love it if you would add your thoughtful suggestions and comments to help expectant parents decide. The world needs more nicely named children, berries! Want to see your question featured? Please email

Kathleen and her husband are expecting their first child, a boy. She writes:

Here’s our dilemma: my husband is in love with the name Peter.

While I don’t love it, it has started to grow on me.  My main concern is the dirty joke associated with it.  Do you think that’s still an issue these days?  Also, can you suggest any some middle names to go with Peter?

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The 4 Varieties of Hipster Names

hipster baby name

By Shauna Carlson

In retrospect, it was so cliché it hurts.

The first real-live hipster I spotted was back in 1997. He was entering a record store (I know, I know…), wearing a mustard colored cardigan, black-rimmed glasses, skinny denim and Chucks.

A lengthy 18 years later and hipster culture has finally spilled over into the mainstream. From Zooey Deschanel’s prime time show, to fast food commercials featuring 20-somethings donning plaid shirts, slouchy hats and handlebar moustaches, the modern hipster style is prominently featured and easily identifiable.

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two aggies

By Linda Rosenkrantz

For what seems like forever, this pair of sainted sister names, Agnes and Agatha, have seemed like the quintessential starched, buttoned-up, high-lace-collared, mauve-dressed Great-Great-Grandmother appellations.

I’d like to propose that we let the unbuttoning commence.

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Love the name, love the person?


I met someone named Bea the other night and I knew instantly that I liked her.

How could I not, given how much I liked her name? To me, the name Bea feels accessible and down-to-earth yet at the same time unusual and elegant — a fantastic combination. And once my new friend Bea told me the history of her name — that her full name was Beatrice, but that her mother really wanted to name her Bridget after her grandmother, which was also my grandmother’s name — I decided we were going to be good friends.

Which set me thinking: Do you automatically like someone if you like their name? Do you find yourself positively disposed, friendlier than usual, simply on the basis of an attractive or intriguing name?

Of course, people may prove to be not as charming as their names.

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Does This Name Make Me Look Old?


by Joan Lebow

There’s always something that rudely awakens us to the reality of age. The blank stare of the 30-something at the office when I mentioned “fiddling while Rome burns.” The moment I hesitated to use the words “pay phone” to describe a telecom job on my resume. Or simply that slightly panicky feeling I’ve felt when I’ve left home without even a tiny tube of concealer in my makeup bag.

But now the veracity of my age is starkly clear to me each day in black and white. With green trim. It comes in the Sharpie scrawl on my daily cup of Starbucks.

Wherever I go and give my name, Joan, to the cashier I almost always get back “Jone” hastily written on the side. That’s J-O-N-E. Sometimes it’s Joe, or JoAne, or Joni. Always the four letter, Mitchell version. (No flower to dot the i, like the one I added in junior high.) I’ve had Jen, Jodi, Juan and John. It happens at counters near home, in Penn Station, by my Brooklyn office, in airports and far away cities.

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